A pitch can take less than a second to reach home plate. But in order to make the most of every throw, consider what you can do with the time between each toss. How can you improve your game in those 10 to 20 seconds before your next delivery?
Understanding how to develop a routine between pitches can help you in your battle against opposing hitters. Follow along with these baseball tips from professional pitcher Tim Melville to help you stay focused from strike to strike.
After you’ve delivered a pitch and received it back, this can be a great time to calm yourself. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and prepare for your next delivery. “The first thing I like to do is take a good, long, deep breath. Think about what just happened the pitch before and what I’d like to do next on the pitch next,” Melville says.
The 10 to 20 seconds between pitches can give you enough time to clear your thoughts and prepare for the next throw. By taking the time to gather yourself and maintain or reestablish your composure, you can be better situated to focus on your next strike. After taking a breath and focusing your attention, get into your pitching stance and move on to the next duel.
Another aspect of your routine between pitches should be analyzing your approach and adapting as necessary. For example, if the opposing hitter is struggling with your off-speed pitches, you can adjust your approach accordingly. If your fastball has less movement than desired, take this time to think through your delivery for better results.
Melville also says to take a moment to look at the hitter and the situation at hand. While you have made adjustments yourself, look to see if they’ve made any changes as well. Also, take note of the count and how many outs there are. These factors can help you better decide which pitch is most likely to have success.
One final point Melville recommends for your routine between pitches is determining how you want your next pitch to look. When you get to your set position, create a mental image of how your pitch will cross the plate. Is there a break or cut to it? Will it finish inside? Outside? Focusing on your pitch finish can help you keep your mind on the delivery rather than overanalyzing your mechanics.
“I think it’s important to focus on how you like your pitches to finish, because if you’re too focused on your mechanics, you’re thinking too much about the mound,” Melville says. “It won’t, actually, allow you to get to the end, which is how you like your pitches to look, how you like the hitter to swing, maybe react.”
Making the most of your time between pitches can help you consistently deliver strikes. Look to stay on top of your game while commanding the mound with these pitching tips.